Skip to main content

Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

See other formats


ETYMOLOGY OF LOCAL SAHES.

S19

the familiar local termination odnw (which argumenti gratia ie spells ocfoig ot
$aon(tj though never so written in any Indian vernacular j to the C&nese Uang
the Tibetan thionp, the Lepciia %oi,^ &c.y &c., and refuses to acboowledge any
connexion between it and the Sanskrit tjrdm®. Yet as cenaialy as Anglo-
Saxon was once the language of England, so was Sanskrit of Upper India; and
it seems as reasonable to deny the relationship between grama and f&wj as be-
tween the English affix bury or borough and the Saxon fcur^. The f<maaftxais
strictly in accord with the roles laid down "by the Prakrit grammarians eenfei-
ries before the word gdruc had actually come IE existence.   Thus by Vataro.
cM's Sutra—Sarratra la-m-ram, IIL, 3—the letter r when compounded idti
another consonant, whether it stands first or last, is always to be elided ; as ^
see in the Hindi Mi for the Sanskrit vdrtdy in kos for Inrosa, a measure of dig.
tanee, and in pan for preman, lore.    So f/rdma passes into gdina: and wheHier
ta:s latter form or gdnw is used depends simply upon the will of tie speaker 5
one man calls the place where lie lives Naugama, another calls It Naoganw,
in the same way as it is optional to say Edinbro* or Edinborongh.    For in
Hindi as in Sanskrit a nasal can always be inserted at pleasure, according to
the memorial line—BatinduMmndnkayoJi sydd abhede na Jcalpanam : and the
distinction between m and v or w has always been very slightly marked ; for
example, dMmar is the recognized literary Hindi form of the Sanskrit dMvar
and at the present day villagers generally write Shamani for Bkawdni^ though
the latter 'form only is admitted in printed books.   If speculation is allowed
to rnn riot with regard to the paternity of such a word as ffdnw^ every step in
the descent of which is capable of the clearest proof3 then philology is still a
science of the future^ and the whole history of language must be rewritten from
the very commencement.
Perhaps of all countries in the world, northern India is the one which lor
an investigation of this Mud is the most self-contained and the least ia need of
alien analogies. Its literary records date from a very remote period; arey in
fact, far more ancient than any arcMtectura! remains,, or evea than any well-
anthenticated site? or definitely established era, and they form a continuous and
unbroken chain down to this very day. From the Sanskrit of the Vedas
to the more polished language of the Epic poeias3 and through the Prakrit of lie
dramatists, the old Hindi of Chanel and the Braj BMsha of Talsi DaSj down to
the current speech of the mral population of Mathum at the present time, the
transitions are never violeatj 'and sit most points are aE but imperceptible. The
language^ as we clearly see from the specimens which we have of it in all its
successive piiasesj is uniform and governed throughout by the same phonetic